Experience Description

Hello. My name is Anthony M. and I have just had the single most horrific incident of my life. I was killed in a motorcycle accident, went over to the other side, met with my other family members who had already passed, met with Jesus, saw Heaven and, then was lucky enough to be allowed the opportunity to return home. This is the story of how things happened and how I was eventually 'pushed' to come back to this life instead of staying over there.

The best way for me to describe my 'crossing over' is to ask if you've ever been hit in the head hard enough to see a bright blue light. That bright blue light you see, if you've ever been hit in the nose or between the eyes - that light you see - that is the path to heaven. After the car hit me, which I didn't even see coming, I felt an intense heat and that blue light was all around me - no matter where I looked. Then I felt an intense pain and heat all around by body. I didn't know what was going on, or what to expect, so I just went along with it - after all - it was calling out to me. 'Anthony you're hurt really bad come this way.' So I did.

I followed the blue light as it spiraled upward. The more I felt at ease following the light, the more the pain and intense heat went away. I followed the light upwards until I could no longer see anything below me. Then the path of light changed to steps. That is, I was no longer floating, but stationary on a single step the same color as the blue light. As I walked up one, another would appear, then another, then another. I walked up the stairs until I could go no further. When I was about ten or fifteen feet from reaching the top, the steps of light were no longer generating new steps. That's when I stopped and looked up.

I saw a little white footbridge made up of stone with a wrought iron and darkly stained oak handrail. I looked up to the left of the bridge. That's where my family was standing. My father, two sisters, grandmother and uncle. The center of the bridge was missing and the right side was completely empty. At this point, I tried talking to my family but it was as if they could not hear me or did not want to hear me. They were all looking right through me at something they loved and admired behind and above me because they were all smiling and looking so peaceful and lovingly.

It was so beautiful up there. No clouds, no trees, no dirt, no grass - just white. The brightest, purest white I have ever seen. It almost glowed. Beyond the bridge was a huge building. Made up of white stones with little square windows. At the time, I didn't know what to think, but now that I am back here and have had time to reflect - I think that maybe it was heaven itself.

The first person to talk to me was my father. He said, 'Anthony! What are you doing up here?' I told him, 'I don't know'. Then he said, 'Anthony, you know that jacket of mine?' I said yes. 'Well, that wasn't meant for you. It belongs to your brother. What would have happened if you were wearing that jacket when you had your accident?' I said, 'Accident?' I really didn't know what he was talking about because I didn't know that anything had happened. Then my father showed me the leather jacket I was wearing when the car hit me. It was all cut up. Now I knew what he meant. If I was wearing his jacket at the time of the accident, then it too, would have been ruined. It was as if my father could hear my thinking because he then said, 'Then where would your brother have been?' Again, I thought, 'Without my father's jacket which meant so much to both of them.' My father said, 'You make sure you get that jacket back to your brother as soon as possible, it wasn't meant for you - it was meant for him.' I said, 'Sure dad, I'll get it back to him as soon as possible.'

Then just as I was about to speak to my sisters, this white, opalescent, glow surrounded them all. It looked so bright, so pure, like the kindest energy to be found. Then between the white shadow glow and their actual selves appeared another shadow, but this time made up of the purest, gold-est, gold. I was in complete and utter awe. Words could not describe the terrific feeling I was wrapped up in. Like they were so lucky. I envied them.

Then I reached up to where my grandmother was standing and I tried to push back her hair. I wanted to see what was between the gold, bright, and pure light. But as I reached for her hair, I felt her hand pushing mine away. I looked at her curiously as to say, 'Gram? What are you doing? I miss you so much?' Then I tried again, and again, she pushed my hand away each time and said, 'Anthony you don't want to look at that light - it's not for you.' I was dumbfounded. That's when Norma, Audrey, Grammy and uncle Carl started talking to me. They all said in unison 'Anthony. It's not your time. You have to go back. You have so much to live for. It's just not your time - go back.' I replied, 'But it hurts so much - I don't think I can go back. Plus, I don't know how to go back.'

At that precise moment, a sharp beam of light came down to my right - like a powerful halogen flashlight on a dark night. I looked up to find the source of the light and that's when I saw Jesus floating down on top of the beam. He floated right down to me. Then he looked me right in the eye and said, 'So Anthony. What are you going to do?' I looked Jesus right in the eye and said, 'You mean I have a choice?' Jesus replied, 'Of course you do. You were hurt pretty badly in an accident. Nobody would blame you if you stayed up here.' Then I thought, 'What will happen to those people down there I care so much about?' Then Jesus put his hand on my shoulder, turned me around, and without saying anything, told me to look down. I looked down and everybody I loved and cared about was standing all together looking so sad and lost. Then Jesus told me, 'This is what your death will do to the people you love.'

And then he opened them up so I could also see their hearts. I could see my wife Ann, my mother Grace, my brothers Daren and Buvy, my sisters Christie and Diana. Their hearts were torn and pieces were dripping down. Jesus told me that their hearts were breaking. I also saw my stepchildren Nicholas and Danielle. Then Jesus said, 'This is what the future will be like without you in their lives.' I saw my mother with a sadness in heart that just wouldn't leave. She was saying things like, 'Why my special little baby?' Then I looked at Ann - she never left the house, she stopped eating, started smoking more and most importantly, she never dated or went out again. Then I saw Danielle. She was about twenty years old and was getting ready to walk down the aisle - with no one to give her away. She was so sad. She wanted a conventional wedding and she would have given anything for me to be there. To see her so pretty and so proud. She knew I would have liked her choice for a husband. A real man's man just like I was. At that point, the choice was no longer hard - I knew I had to go back. Then, I started to hear the prayers of all the people that cared about me. My wife, Pauline, my older neighbors, my mother, my in-laws, and my brothers and sisters. I could hear their thoughts and prayers as if they were right there with me. After I would hear a prayer, I would look around to see who was saying it. Once I recognized who it was, one of the steps would disappear and I would go down one step.

Then I told Jesus, 'I would like to go back.' I really think Jesus approved of my decision because he said, 'It's not your time. I have bigger, better things planned for you.' Then I thought to myself, 'What about the pain? The recovery? Will I be myself?' Again, Jesus must have read my mind because he said, 'No one is going to go through what you went through and go back empty handed. I'm going to send you back with something.' So with his right hand, he grabbed my right hand. Then with his left hand, he placed it and cuddled the back of my head. All of my pain disappeared at that point and the second he placed his left hand behind my head, my feet rose up until I was almost at a forty-five degree angle. We then began a downward descent that was as smooth as an escalator until we were directly over Maine Medical Center. Then, just as if we were ghosts, we went down through the roof into the operating room where my doctor was performing surgery on my severely fractured skull and brain and then Jesus ever so gently glided and placed my spirit back into my body in one smooth movement. That is all I can remember.

Background Information:

Gender: Male

Date NDE Occurred: 05/29/2002

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes AccidentDirect head injury Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) Open head wound, broken neck, broken T7 and L5.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes
I clearly left my body and existed outside it

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness It was the same, but different. I knew what was going on, understood what was going on, but was unsure why?

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Once I stopped at the top of the stairs of light and recognized my family.

Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast

Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning I could see and hear the future and the present at all the same time. I could hear everybody all at the same time, but individually. Hard to explain.

Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid

Did your hearing differ in any way from normal? I could hear the people praying for me, but it was not speech. I could hear their thoughts as words, but not with my ears.

Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain This is hard to put into words. After the impact, I felt a lot of pain and a very intense heat. The blue light was all around me - no matter where I looked. It was calling out to me, but not with words or the use of language. More like I was part of the light/tunnel.

The experience included: Presence of deceased persons

Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes They were about fifteen feet in front of me slightly to the left, slightly higher than me, but not really. They were all there, my uncles, sisters, father and grandmother. They were all beside each other, but not in any order. Like Grammy first, my sister beside her on the left, etc. It wasn't like that. They were there, standing beside each other, but there was no order or placement. They were just there. They were all looking so peaceful and lovingly. They looked right at me, but not at me. Above me, below me, through me, at something that they admired or respected and loved. The first to communicate was my father. Please read my story for details of my conversations with them.

The experience included: Light

Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin

Did you see an unearthly light? Yes At first, the light was blue. Then it transitioned to white. It was an opalescent white; it almost glowed, but did not shine. It was bright, but not intense bright, like glowing bright - pure bright. Pure but not in the usual sense of the word. Pure as in something you've never seen before or could ever describe or put into words. Like an aura that was everywhere but within you? Also, around my family members. They shone, but not really. It was white all around them but an opaque white around them like a 3D shadow. A soul. A presence. Then between that shadow and their actual body itself, there was a gold shadow between the surface of their body but perfectly melded with the opaque shadow. No grey areas, but not black and white either. You can't describe it, draw it, or even imagine it. You'd have to have been there.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm I think that maybe I saw Heaven itself. It's hard to describe because everything was white. No trees, grass or dirt, just white. No skies, no earth, no space, no area. Just a presence.

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Extremely warm, not fearful, happy to see my family: especially my grandmother.

Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness

Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy

Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe

Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control I learned that I was not doing something I should. I knew I had to help other people but did not know how or why. I knew I had to go back because both my living family and dead family said I should.

The experience included: Vision of the future

Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I saw my daughter getting married when she is twenty years old. She's only eighteen now, so time will tell.

Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Minimal Participating Catholic

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I now go to church more often, have always been a believer, but now am a strong believer. I take offense when anyone uses the Lord's name in vain while in my presence and I wear the crucifix religiously that I got for my first communion. I am not a religious nut, but live my life religiously. I do not swear, abuse my body, and I am loyal, trusting and respectful to my wife, my kids, my brothers and sisters. I do what I can to help those who need it or ask for it, and put myself second to everyone else. I get my happiness from other people being happy. I am committed, dedicated, devoted, helpful, respectful, patient, gracious, a good listener and am very warm and loving to all.

What is your religion now? Moderate Catholic

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I now go to church more often, have always been a believer, but now am a strong believer. I take offense when anyone uses the Lord's name in vain while in my presence and I wear the crucifix religiously that I got for my first communion. I am not a religious nut, but live my life religiously. I do not swear, abuse my body, and I am loyal, trusting and respectful to my wife, my kids, my brothers and sisters. I do what I can to help those who need it or ask for it, and put myself second to everyone else. I get my happiness from other people being happy. I am committed, dedicated, devoted, helpful, respectful, patient, gracious, a good listener and am very warm and loving to all.

The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin

Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them

Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:

During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I knew how much I was loved. I knew how much I was needed. I knew I had to go back because I was pushed (subliminally convinced). I knew I was strong, I knew what to expect when I returned.

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes As already outlined above and throughout, I have a new respect for the people I love and take nothing for granted anymore. Additionally, I was always unsure of how people felt for me but now there is no question. I love them, need them and appreciate them, and in return, I know that I am loved, needed and appreciated. There's no better feeling!

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain Knowing 'who' was there, but not having 'proof' of who they actually were.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have been given the gift of a photographic memory and am now left handed.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The whole thing was meaningful and significant. It changed my life forever for the good. My wife would always say she knew I loved her. But she always felt I never really 'needed' her. She said that now I make her feel important, make her feel loved, make her feel needed, and that my life would be meaningless without her in it. And I do. I was always cocky, arrogant, self-centered and aggressive. Now, I am calm, patient, understanding, loving, empathetic, sympathetic, and compassionate and have a zest for life, and the people in it.

I used to be a contractor chasing after the almighty dollar. After the accident, I closed my company and started work in the social service field. I work with disadvantaged children and families helping them to overcome the hurdles, which stand in their way in order to make their lives more complete and happy. I now make in two weeks what it would take me a day and a half to earn before. I'm able to make my life experiences, knowledge and skills work for other people. I'm good at what I do, and that's what God wanted me to come back and do. I'm doing it. And it's hard work, but it's very rewarding.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes The first time I shared this story is the minute I woke from my coma. I shared it with anyone who would listen. My wife brought in my laptop and I dictated the story to her. I shared it with anyone who would listen, and printed several copies for the neurosurgeons who saved my life, the nurses who took care of my family doctor, my employer, my friends, my family and me. I made so many people happy sharing this story. I made them laugh; I made them cry. It brought hope to those who were ill and brought peace to those who have lost someone.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Just what you read in a supermarket tabloid and sensational news reports and TV specials.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. It was real because the impact of my accident was nothing short of a miracle. I was hit head on by an oncoming car on my motorcycle. I flew seventy-six feet and landed on my head - no helmet - caving in my skull, breaking my neck and back in two places, I was killed instantly. The guy that hit me ran into his house and called 911. The cop that responded was only one tenth of a mile from my accident. The call went over the scanner and the guy's next door neighbor, was an off duty paramedic who stabilized me and performed CPR until an ambulance arrived three minutes later. I was only ten minutes from Maine Medical Center and the best neurosurgeons on the east coast (up here for a conference from Boston Massachusetts) were in the emergency room when I came in by ambulance. I was clinically dead for thirty-three minutes before I was brought back and could survive on my own (not really).

I was on life support for almost two weeks. Since the off-duty paramedic started with the CPR almost instantly after my crash, I suffered no long-term brain damage. They removed one third of my brain. Mostly parietal, then frontal and occipital. After less than six months therapy, I have no neural, cognitive or emotional/psychological deficits. They told my family I would not live the week and, if I ever came out of my coma, I would be 'vegetable-like, comatose at best.' They said I would be lucky to survive, but would need long-term care for the rest of my life. They helped my family to choose nursing homes in the southern Maine area. If you met me today, you would never know I was in such a horrific accident.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. There's no way to medically explain my survival. Several doctors, specialists, surgeons, etc. can verify this. The surgeons who operated on me stated 'Anthony. There is no medical explanation why you are recovering so remarkably after your accident. After what you have been through, the only explanation is divine intervention.'

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No Not even close. If there was, the manufacturer would own the world.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I would like to add that I wish everybody could go through an experience similar to this without having the event that leads up to it. It changed my life forever - for the better. I think if everybody had the opportunity to experience this, the world would be a very different place. Notice how I said 'different' not 'better.' It's all a frame of mind, a way of thinking. I liked the afterlife, but I like this world as well. It's just that the experience gives you a new way of thinking, a different outlook, a better attitude. I think we could all use that.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Nothing. Good job. I hope my story helps someone or something. My priest read my story to his parish. There was not a dry eye in the church after. I was hugged, kissed, hand shook, and thanked by everyone. It gave them hope, it gave them dreams; or some, it solidified what they already knew, for others, it changed their point of view. Others still, do not believe, they believe I had the experience, just not the reasons or rationale behind it. They say when the brain is cut off from oxygen, many different and unknown things can and will happen. But as for me, I've always believed and will continue to do so. I am the luckiest person in the world. Like Father L stated, 'They were praying for you over here, and they were praying for you over there. What choice did He really have?" Thank you, and God Bless.